A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grease is full of somewhat racy material, although most of it isn't any more shocking than the content of today's teen films and television shows. Still, you might want to give it a quick "refresher" watch before showing it to kids under 13 to make sure you remember exactly what they'll be seeing. Characters smoke, drink, and spike the punch at the school dance. Characters use an obscene finger gesture and say "ass," "crap," "weenie," "flog your log," and the like, and one sings, "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity." The song "Greased Lightning" has profanity including "t-t," "s--t," and "p---y wagon." Characters make out. At the drive-in, Danny makes a pass at Sandy. Sexual activity is implied when two characters discuss a broken condom, resulting in Rizzo's fear she may be pregnant. Naked derrieres are seen when characters moon a passing car and, later, a television camera. The T-Birds discuss female anatomy, and one fellow peeks up the skirts of female students. The Pink Ladies dance around in their nighties mocking Sandy's virginity. A T-Bird draws a switchblade in preparation for a rumble.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
This movie covers quintessential high school moments: the big pep rally, the school dance, worrying about image, and, of course, falling in love. Though viewers shouldn't expect a highly accurate portrayal of life in the 1950s, the relationships among characters will feel like familiar emotional ground to many viewers. When it comes to an entertaining mix of singing, dancing, and comedy, GREASE -- which won a People's Choice Award -- is hard to beat. Parents will especially enjoy seeing John Travolta in his early days (boy, can he dance!).
Is it any good?
Grease was the word when this movie came out in 1978, and the word is still alive and well today, as evidenced by the movie's ever-growing legion of fans. In fact, it's the most profitable movie musical of all time, whose biggest hit, "Summer Nights," remains a standard at weddings, karaoke parties, and dances. Although the story is somewhat weak, the music and contagious energy more than make up for it, as do stellar performances by John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: June 16, 1978
- On DVD or streaming: June 3, 2002
- Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
- Director: Ken Annakin
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some sexual content
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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